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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 4, 2009 11:00pm-11:30pm EDT

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adopted, the democratic bill, and created twice as many jobs. in my district of wyoming, it would have created 50% more jobs, but in many districts that are suffering, it created twice as many jobs. that's because we really targeted and took to heart what president obama asked us to do, and that was to be targeted and temporary. unfortunately, the bill that was adopted was neither targeted. it was a shotgun approach to economic stimulus and it is not temporary. many provisions in that bill are built in to the ongoing spending of government and inflates the cost of government, as dr. roe pointed out earlier, by adding to the bline of expenditures that will go up and up and up in the future. and one of the things that
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representative rooney just mentioned that is frustrating to all of us on both sides of the aisle is seeing legislation that is not germane to the subject of the bilk attached to the subject of the bill. in the case that representative rooney was just discussing, it was funding for our military men and women in iraq and afghanistan and in pakistan. and we added to it or have the addition to that bill would lend money or guarantee money to the international monetary fund. no connection whatsoever. and the i.m.f. funding has created a situation where we're not voting tomorrow on that bill because there are not sufficient votes to pass it by virtue of an amendment that was not germane being added to a bill.
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in the wyoming legislature, you cannot do that. you cannot amend a non-germane topic to a piece of legislation or it is ruled out of order. if that rule were in effect here, we would see much better legislation and see people having a better opportunity to vet that legislation, discuss that legislation and then vote with their heart rather than having to grit their teeth and vote for a couple things that are just not a good pairing. and i could give an example it pains some people on the other side of the aisle. i'm a big supporter of second amendment rights, but there was an amendment put on a credit card bill to allow concealed weapon permits in national parks. i firmly support allowing concealed weapons in national parks, because they are so part and parcel to the state of
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wyoming and to our right to bear arms. but attaching it to a credit card bill is wrong. it's just wrong. . mr. roe: remember our first week or two here, when freshmen, both democrats and republican, there are 33 new democrats and 22 -- 33 republicans and 22 democrats, i believe we have them outnumbered finally. the economists told us if we don't spend the money rapidly, the earth is going to end. i said that sounds counterintuitive, to spend your way to wealth. the economy is beginning to turn around, thank goodness. the signs are feeble, but it looks like the economy may have bottomed out and the same people are telling us in the third and fourth quarter the economy is going to show, probably will show some growth. we've spent less than 10% of the stimulus package. less than 10%.
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the economy did that on its own without the stimulus package. the target, as we were talking about earlier, if we truly had done this, truly looked at infrastructure, example, the state of tennessee is going to get $55 million in water and sewer projects and the small city i'm from is putting $100 million in the ground. it was a spending bill with some little stimulus in it. look at energy. if wed invested $100 bush if we'd invested $100 billion or $200 billion in nuclear power, look how much further along we'd bfment two year the money will be spent and we won't have much, i think to show for it. mrs. lummis: mr. luetkemeyer, this get into an area you're involved in deeply now. any comments on either your service in the state legislature in missouri or how
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you'd compare it to washington and how process here in washington impedes that, or the energy issue specifically? either one. mr. luetkemeyer: in my home state where i served as a majority and minority leadership, it's not unlike missouri but it's different. here, we don't necessarily run everything through committee. not everything has to be germane. not always are you allowed to offer amendments. it's an amazing process where i thought there'd be more open, more transparent, that was the promise from the administration. yet we see little of that through the discussion here it's been interesting to listen to my colleagues and yourself and know they've got some great stories to tell. great perspectives on how we should be governing ourselves, how we as a people should be governing ourselves, and it's
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interesting to me that, you know, if you look at our constitution, it says we the people, it doesn't say we the government. to me, i think that's very important. we stop and think about our framers, when they put this very special document together this american experiment they were trying, they said, we the people. they wanted the people to be where the power was. to be where the ability to control their lives was. not the government. and it seems as though very quickly when you get here, the perspective is completely different. here, the government is where the power always emanates from. and they want everybody to be subservient to. it's that sort of mindset or situation we find ourselveses in here that i think is very frustrating to our constituents. they see this as well. over the last several weeks, as i've gone home this concern continues to well up with regard to where we're going as cauntry, where we're going as a
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government. they don't see themselves as being part of it anymore. and they want us to be their voice and it's an honor to serve them, it's an honor to be here. but it's, i think the perspective of this body needs to be that of serving people rather than to be served. i sometimes think we get that switched around. mr. lummis: the gentleman from minnesota also was a leader in his state legislature. observations comparing the two? mr. peterson: -- >> i think a lot of being a successful legislator and making a successful country is getting things done and being results oriented. in the minnesota legislature,
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we were able to offer amendments as long as it was germane. here we have to get permission to offer an amendment from the chair of the rule committees or the speaker of the house. so it's a very closed process. it's not an open, flowing process where i think it's easier to breed partisanship. i think if the rank and file members can get together to break the grips of the leadership, i think we could do great things for the american people. i yield back. mrs. lummis: we have other members who are not here tonight who i'd like to mention. one was mentioned earlier by mr. rooney, duncan hunter a member of the freshman class from california quit his job after 9/11 to serve in the marine corps. he has served three combat tours, including two in iraq and one in afghanistan. and along with mr. rooney and mr. kauffman of colorado who took unpaid leave from the colorado state house to serve in the first gulf war and gave
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up being colorado state treasurer for a 2004 of -- tour of duty in iraq. i was -- i was the state treasurer at the same time he was, and at the time when lynn jenkins was state treasurer in kansas. we were proud of our colleague, mr. kauffman, for leaving his job as colorado state treasurer to do a tour of duty in iraq. the experience of our service men and women in this congress is invaluable. i applaud them and appreciate their efforts. i want to call on mr. rooney one more time to discuss specific issue that prevents all of us being here tonight, that being the fact that an amendment has been placed on a military funding bill that is
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not germane. would you care to elaborate further? then i'd like to yield to mr. thompson. mr. rooney: the bill we originally sent to the senate was just a clean war funding bill the president asked us for and we delivered as a house of representatives to the senate. unfortunately, one of the things -- and i did not serve in politics before running for congress so all of this is new, but by the time it came back from the senate to us, it had an additional amendment on it which included funding for the i.m.f., which is basically us borrowing money from somewhere else or printing money to loan it to another country. and that might seem ridiculous to a lot of people that may be listening, since everybody knows that america is going through tough times right now and people in my district are
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really hurting. the middle class needs help. they need tax cuts. they need to feel their job is secure. they need to feel the federal government is helping them, not impeding em. to think that we are going to borrow or print money to send abroad, some of it to people that we might not necessarily want to lend money to, and have to put that on the backs of our service men and women because they know that it will be difficult for us as republicans to vote against it, is really in my opinion shameful in a lot of ways. so much of what we do here, i understand there's differences in ideology. there's differences in principles about what government should be. but if we have a clean military funding bill, then it should stand on its own. if off clean i.m.f. bill to loan money to foreign countries, then it should stand
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on its on. the majority is the majority. if it's a good idea, it'll pass. they have the congress, they have the white house. why should it be attached to something that has nothing to do with funding our soldiers abroad. i recently got back from iraq and afghanistan. i recently visited guantanamo bay, cuba. one thing that impresses me more than anything else is the men and women that wear our uniform. they never talk about politics. they never talk about policy or how they stand on certain issues. they're there to do a job. they're putting themselves in harm's way so we can stand here tonight and discuss these issues and talk about what we think is best for the future. and to sit -- and to think that politics is being played with the ammunition that goes in their guns or the body armor or
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the vehicles they drive or anything they have to rely on from us as a congress to pay for what we are sending them there to do is unconscionable to me and it's something that i hope, as you said earlier, has been delayed and hopefully that delay is felt -- continues on to next week and maybe we can reconsider what we're doing when we talk about politics should have no place when it comes to funding what we send our men and women in uniform to do abroad, whether you agree with these wars, whether you agree with the war on terror, whether you agree with anything we're doing, we are sending them there, we should give them a clean bill and as of right now, we're not. but maybe, just maybe, cooler heads will prevail and we'll give them a clean bill for what they're doing and what they're serving us for. mrs. lummis: will the gentleman yield?
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>> i will. mrs. lummis: i would like to acknowledge two other members of the freshman class who served in the military, john fleming, from louisiana, was a medical officer in the u.s. navy and brett guthrie, one of our colleagues from kentucky, served as a field artillery office in the air a-- 101st division air assault at fort campbell. we have other veterans as well. i want to turn now to a subject on the front burner in congress, both house and senate, both energy and health care. we have a wonderful array of talent in our class on both subjects. we have two medical care providers with us to discuss that issue. i know i was listening briefly to the progressive caucus before we had this little opportunity to visit this
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evening and they were espousing the benefits that they see in providing health care by way of a government-funded option. and i might point out, before i turn it over to mr. thompson, that government payers, and this was an independent study, found out that medicaid and medicare have shifted a total of $89 billion per year in costs onto other payers. as a result, families with private health, and i'm quoting from the study, families with private health insurance spend nearly $1,800 more per year, $1,512 in higher premiums and $276 in increased beneficiary cost sharing to cover the below-market reimbursement
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levels paid by medicare and medicaid. my concern is if we go to a government option that is side by side with private sector insurance, that it will be less expensive, and it will recruit people to gravitate from private insurance to this government system, but the reason that it may be cheaper for the government to provide insurance is they are continuing to shift costs and to fail to reimburse providers accurately and adequately. i know in my state of wyoming where health care is the number one issue right now, that there are physicians who have -- are no longer accepting medicare and medicaid patients. they cannot afford to accept them anymore because reimbursement levels in rural
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hospitals and to rural physicians are so low. . if that is the manner in which our country is going to control health care, we're in big trouble. i yield to the the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. thompson: i didn't thank my good friend and colleague from florida and mr. hunter from california. as a proud father of a united states sold year for -- sold year and make sure we don't compromise our troops' needs. health care has been my life working in rehabilitation and got involved in public service after being frustrated by the federal regulations and the health care system that was increasing costs and making the health care system more
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challenging. and that's the federal system. we are blessed in this class, this republican freshmen class in terms of tremendous health care experience that we have. and i think we have a lot to offer to this debate, hopefully we will have opportunity to engage in that debate a little more than what we have in past as issues have come before this body. you know, health care is a three-legged stool. it is about access and that's what we hear about today, talking about the uninsured, but access, affordability and quality. and i believe we have the best health care system in the world. i'm not saying it's not perfect and there aren't opportunities that we can't continue to improve upon it. but the democratic proposals that are being discussed would in my opinion, increase access
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issues and lower the quality of care that we have all come to expect as americans. this is a place where people come from around the world when they need lifesaving quality health care services. the other side would argue that this is to provide access to those who are currently unshurd. if we identify those individuals to make a decision to not purchase health care insurance and we eliminate those folks, we are talking about 9% of individuals who do not have insurance. and lack of insurance doesn't necessarily mean they don't have access to health care services. in my district, we have agencies, such as federally qualified agencies and no my hometown called the tapes try of health and volunteers of medicine. could we do better in health care? absolutely. absolutely. but do we need to ruin our health care system by reducing
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access and quality for all? absolutely not. i think the republican freshmen stand prepared to bring solutions based on real life medical health care experience to this important debate. and my district is just like the rest of rural america. our health care debate has to include things that aren't being talked about, things like peeling away the regulations that were instituted 40 years ago and outlived their usefulness that increase costs. we reduce the practice of defensive medicine by eliminating the fears of liability that our physicians have, where they order test not to have them as a medical record, but an evidence record. we need to level the reimbursement system that is favoring urban big city over rural america, especially on issues related to the wage index. we need to address the health
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care work force crisis. i have not heard that addressed at all in this body and we define the payment system anyway you want. but if you don't have qualified doctors, nurses and technicians to provide the services, there is nowak cease. and we are facing tremendous retirements of those health care professionals. there are health care reform issues that we need to be addressing that just have not been -- and i think this class is well prepared to bring that to the health care debate. mrs. lummis: i look forward to that discussion, another of our colleagues from louisiana, co-founded to match patients to doctors free of charge. we have qualified and very caring medical care providers
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and physicians in our class and i'm proud to serve with them. dr. phil, you are among them. would you please comment on this subject. mr. cassidy: just a couple of things. one it's accessibility to care and that is the crisis of personnel. mr. roe: we need a million new registered nurses in the next few years. there will be more physicians retiring and dying in this country than we are producing. we aren't investing in the medical infrastructure to increase the class size and who's go to go provide this care? that is very direct and a huge issue. the challenge here is affordable health care and accessible to people. it's not going to be easy. i have deelt with this over 30 years and this is going to be very, very complicated to do and
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we don't need to do this fast but do it right. i think that's one of the worries i have is we're going to go and have this arbitrary deadline of 60 days from now. who says 60 days from now we should have this right and done? we need to get it right. if it takes six months, we need to get it right, because it affects every american. let me give you a couple of examples. in this country, we have 47 million people that are uninsured, 15% of our population. in the state of tennessee, about 15 years ago, we had a medicaid waiver and for those who understand, medicaid is for the uninsured and poor in this country and medicare is for citizens over 65. this was a medicaid waiver to form a managed care plan called tenncare and it was a rich blended care that provided a lot of care for not much money. what we found is that 45% of the people who got on tenncare who
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had private health insurance, dropped it. i asked the providers, what percent of your cost does tenn care pay? i went to our hospitals, 60% and medicare pays 90%. as you pointed out and the uninsured pays somewhere in between. what you pointed out clearly, what happens is that cost has shifted and more costs -- so your private health insurance goes up, not because what you do but what the government has done, and that is not pay the freight. if we get a public plan that will offer a lot of benefits, it won't pay the cost of services, once again causing a shift to the private health insurer. over time, i'm afraid you will end up with a single-payer system and that's not what the american people want. and that's something that will be discussed in great detail in
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the future. mrs. lummis: i might mention the three officers of our freshmen republican class who couldn't join us this evening. and two of our more unique members who i hope will be able to join us. our class president is steve austria of ohio. and he was -- the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. mrs. lummis: may i have a couple more minutes? the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. lummis: he got jessica's law and adam walsh safety act passed into state law. our representative on the steering committee, greg harper of mississippi is an attorney with a child who he has brought to share his unique health concerns with us. and we have all learned a lot from him. and of course, our policy committee representative, jason
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chaffetz, who is a former division one football player at brigham young university and a dear colleague of ours. and two wonderful freshmen who are plowing new ground, the very first vietnamese american to serve in the united states congress, congressman cao, escaped from vietnam. lost his nirm in katrina and fought to bring telecommunications to the residents. we boast the youngest member of this, aaron shock, illinois state republic and a member of congress, with whom we are privileged to serve. i thank the gentleman for joining me this evening. i thank our speaker, the
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gentleman from virginia, who was very patient with his fellow freshmen colleagues from the other party and look forward to the opportunity to have a bipartisan freshmen discussion at an early opportunity. with that, mr. speaker, i move that the house adjourn for the evening. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> these are president obama's remarks from cairo. after that, a ceremony at the capital march the 20th anniversary of the tiananmen square protests and the violence that followed. later, a house budget hearing for the special operations unit. >> there is still time to get your copy of it sees them's congressional directory. for information on house and senate members, cabinet members, supreme court justices, and cabinet members. it is $16.95.
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you can also call 1-877-c-span. >> president obama delivered a speech at cairo university in egypt. he called for a two-stage solution in the middle east. it was a unified effort against violent extremism. the speech was broadcast worldwide. it is about one hour. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank y

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